East Point Academy unveils innovative approach to reopening schools
West Columbia, SC - Health & Safety, Academic Integrity, Balanced Workload; these are the three pillars upon which East Point Academy designed their 20/21 back to school plan. Like many local schools, the plan provides parent choice. What makes East Point’s plan unique is that students will belong to the same class, with the same lessons, on the same schedule, with the same teacher whether they choose “On-Campus” or “Off-Campus” learning. This is possible through teachers live-streaming all direct instruction to virtual students. The hope is “On-Campus” students will consider their “Off-Campus” classmates part of their class and experience. “There will be collaboration and group work linking the two so that all students are truly a part of the same school,” explained Information and Technology Coordinator Channing Anderson.
The plan lightens the workload on teachers as well. Essentially their class stays the same, some students will just be in the room, and some will be participating through an iPad. “It was a little tricky to work out the logistics, but we got creative to make it possible for our students,” said Anderson. What also makes East Point’s plan stand out is that the choice is not all or nothing, parents get the option to change their campus choice each 9 weeks.
Reaction to the plan on social media has been overwhelmingly positive. East Point parent Shanda Millender wrote “Well done! Our 3 kids are so excited to come back to school. I think in person learning will be best for mine, and I love the health and safety procedures you’ve put in place,” while parent Wilmeika Gunter gushed “East Point will take care of these babies as much as possible. I love this school!”
With a focus on health and safety, East Point Academy has also implemented a series of changes including hand-washing stations, touchless water bottle stations, sanitizing kiosks, desks to facilitate physical distancing and protective gear for all teachers and staff.
When speaking of the school plan, Head of School Mark Bounds said, “I am very happy with our Parent Choice model. From today until the first day of school, we will be working to refine and improve our classroom and virtual teaching techniques so that all our students get a rich and full educational experience. We will also continue to make improvements to our facilities, so that they can be as safe as possible.”
East Point Academy is a East Point Academy is currently accepting applications for the 2020/2021 school year. To learn more, visit www.eastpointsc.org.